Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Our project work is taking off! In both classrooms children spent time illustrating and dictating what they think they know about beavers (in Jonah, Elizabeth, and Brian’s room) and hedgehogs (in Katie, Rachel, and Melissa’s room). We then discussed what we were wondering about these creatures and talked about the difference between a question and a comment. Each class then made a list of questions, and we spent time talking about how we could find the answers to the questions – how can we research?

At The Schuylkill Center this week we visited another area of the property, the Pine Plantation, to see if we could see evidence of beavers or hedgehogs. (The teachers are aware that neither of these creatures lives at The Schuylkill Center, and with research the students will become aware of this fact, as well.)

We also started our “Writing Workshop” this week. Each child was given a Writing Journal and decorated the cover. To dovetail with “Read the Pictures,” our first entry was “Writing the Pictures"; each child “wrote” a picture that tells a story. This activity empowers children who are not yet comfortable writing words to recognize that you can “write” stories without knowing how to write words. Soon children who are comfortable will begin to write words in their journals along with their illustrations.

In preparation for writing words, we spent time practicing how to hold a pencil so that one’s hand muscles don’t get too tired, and we learned the proper way to sit when writing – with two feet on the floor and one’s back straight. We also talked about how we need to learn how to form the letters of the alphabet so that others can read our writing, as we often write for other people (cards, letters, lists). Last week we began to learn how to form some uppercase letters, along with the sounds those letters make, and we will continue to do so each week until we review the entire alphabet. So far we have focused on A-H. While the students are learning to properly form the uppercase letters, they are also learning how to recognize their corresponding lowercase letters.

In mathematics we are focusing on our October calendar pattern, which exposes students to the idea that one quantity can be put together with different combinations of other quantities (i.e., 1+2=3 and 3+0=3). We are also looking at quantities to 10 on a “ten frame,” which is a 2x5 grid that can be filled in to show how a quantity compares to 10 (ex. The number 2 has 8 empty squares on a ten frame.). Seeing quantities in comparison to 10 will help students with number sense, place value, addition, and subtraction.

Questions to ask/activities to do with your child:

  • What questions are you wondering about beavers/hedgehogs?
  • What is “research"?
  • How was the Pine Plantation different than Weil House?
  • Why is it important to write letters carefully when you are writing words?
  • How do you feel about having your own Writing Journal?
  • What story did you “write” for your first entry?
  • “Write a picture” together and tell a story as you draw.
  • Take a small item you can count easily (paperclips, Cheerios, pennies, etc). With fewer than five, see how many different ways you and your child can take apart and put together that quantity. If your child seems ready, you can do this with more than five items.

Have a great weekend,

The Kindergarten Team